Andrea Brady & Carol Watts - 30th April / 17th May

Andrea Brady
at Parasol Unit on Tuesday 30 April at 7pm:
14 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW

Andrea Brady & Carol Watts + music
at Cafe Oto in Dalston on Sunday 17 May at 3pm:
18-22 Ashwin St
London E8 3DL


Jow Lindsay said...


"[...] Since no-one else has jumped in and the blur of the bank holiday weekend is now behind me: Andrea read at the Parasol Unit last Thursday evening, from new work forthcoming in book form in the first half and from a new, long sequence in the second.

The poems in the first half picked up where Embrace left off, occasional poems with strange yet critically decided transitions between all the phenomena of Western daily life, characterised best perhaps by one poem which, we were forewarned, moved from the mythical iconography of the New Jersey Turnpike as featured in the opening credits of the Sopranos to the site of the wedding party in Afghanistan bombed from the air by US pilots. Elsewhere there was also a newly direct address to relationships and the roles they confer, in one love poem in particular, that foreshadowed the content of the second half.

In that second half Andrea read from a new sequence that intersperses poems with discursive prose pieces addressed directly to Andrea's young daughter Ayla. Those prose pieces were given dates but we were told firmly that they were not journal entries. This work was an occasion for me to realise how little literature on motherhood I have read: nevertheless I find it difficult to believe there will be much writing on motherhood that is like this. Its directness is startling, particularly in the context of experimental poetry readings which so rarely employ that kind of sustained, foregrounded address, unless in polemic or absurd form. There was at one point a very touching and closely observed passage that sought, against the Kleinian image of the primitive and devouring child, to substitute a model of infant generosity and invention. I'd never heard anything like this piece and I hope others get to hear it soon [...]"

Jow Lindsay said...


"Just to pick up briefly on what Malcolm said, I want to emphasize the difference between the two parts of Andrea's reading. The work in the first part--and this is in common with other work of hers that I have read--generally had a definite rhetorical impulse behind its apparent divagations. (I wonder if this isn't something she picks up from her academic work on 17th century literature, to some extent.) Its address is fundamentally public. The work in the second half seemed at once more intimate/lyrical and more prosaic."

Jow Lindsay said...


"As both Malcom and Barry both observed there was a massive shift in register and tone from the first half to second half. I am not quite sure where I would place the second sequence, it seems so different to much of what is being written at the moment. Hazily I recall semantic shifts from concepts of maternal labour into the concept of Division of Labour mediated through notions of sound and their relation to language (it was all really well done). Passages that leapt out and have stayed in my mind concern toys, the relationship of the toy to love, and how one intends love. The work seemed to be saying something new in relation to both. At some point there was a shift into the outside space (the larger toy) of the park; the toy as object vs the toy as environment. I remember silver branches shaking and a baby standing. There were some doubts as to whether books would be allowed to be sold as the Parasol Unit it is a non profit gallery. However, books were sold and I picked up three books: 1) Boomer Console - Chris Goode (2) Embrace - Andrea Brady (3) What Fell Out In Life - Matt Fytche.

Further memorable condensations in the poem were : pretty nappies that leak, their hinges and contraptions (and then at some point later) the sprung and unsprung rhythms of some kind of, soon to be digested, Poundian Pizza. I think I recall somewhere within the poetic articulation a cry of the baby set within an environment of constant noise, rhythms of consumption and exchange, bodies spawning bodies and the muscularity of it all. I noticed the reading was recorded for the BL Sound Archive. The audience sat on circular wicker cushions which at some point Andrea suggested should be redistributed amongst the audience (some had two, others one, some none). Interestingly, the audience remained resolutely steadfast in their stillness and the cushion situation remained unchanged. I had one cushion so can't grumble. Does any one recall who the art work on the gallery wall was by."

Jow Lindsay said...


"The paintings on the wall were by Robert Mangold, made from the early to mid-'80s. Paintings full of breath. The last day of the exhibition is the 8th, this Friday, and it is well worth going out of your way to see it if you haven't."